Do you ever consider who you are and what is the purpose of existence? When I met an inspirational business leader this week, he told me that this inquiry opened a door within that altered the trajectory of his life. It happened at a pivotal time, as he approached 40, and it connected him with a deeper purpose and meaning. Often it requires an existential crisis to really go deeply into this question and I suggest we all address it sooner.
The Delphic oracle, one of the most revered sources of wisdom in ancient times was very clear on this,
Above all else, know thy self.
This question has always been core to my being. As long as I can remember the transient nature of the elemental play of life has been apparent. As soon as I was able to communicate, my father used to ask me the very same question. The dialogue went something like this…
Look at your hands.
Can you see the hands and arms and the rest of your body?
Yes. Well, most of it.
If you are seeing the body, how can it be ‘you’? You have to be the observer and not the observed.
What are you talking about Dad?
As a 5 year old, this was quite a stretch for me and yet it obviously planted some existential seeds that have flourished ever since. Do you consider yourself to be the physical body reading these words? Let me be honest here, I often get lured into the attachment to the image found in the mirror and to the “reality” of this chemical soup. Science clearly shows us that the body is in a constant state of flux. There is no ‘fixed’ body and to believe our identity lives here is erroneous.
One step beyond the body is the mind. The identity that we have created for ourselves is very alluring. I often hear clients refer to their default and the ‘fact’ that this is “just the way I am”. My own experiment with video this week has been quite revelatory in this respect. At the start of the week, I believed quite firmly that I wasn’t the type of person to make a video. And wasn’t capable either. Six days later and this has evaporated. Shattering this belief system has transformed my experience of life and the idea of who I thought I was. It seems the identity is as ephemeral as the transient body.
So what lies beyond the illusion of mind? We all seek something more in life. Perhaps only when we go beyond the illusion of identity can we “know thyself” and connect with the wisdom of the universe. Whether you spend your time as a business leader or an elite athlete, this inquiry will ensure your firm footing in the World.
Watch my latest video and join this inquiry. Follow the call of the Delphic oracle and discover your true nature… before its too late and this body evaporates back into the earth from which it came.